Connecting with Employees through On-site Corporate Volunteer Opportunities

A 2013 UnitedHealth Group study found that 64% of employees reported volunteering with work colleagues strengthened their work relationships. A recent Cone Research study found that 79% of people prefer to work for socially responsible companies. In fact, Cone found that two-thirds of millennials won’t consider taking a job if the company doesn’t have strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) values, and nearly 90% said they do a better job in CSR-friendly environments.

Across the country, millennials are leading the way, as companies continue to look for and implement new ways for employees to give back while on the job, including company-matched giving programs and annual corporate volunteering days.

“How do I bring Operation Gratitude to my team here at our office?” is a question we’re asked regularly by businesses of all shapes and sizes. That’s one reason why we’re so proud of the dual nature of our mission:  to not only lift the spirits of our Military and First Responder communities, but also to provide volunteer opportunities for Americans everywhere to express their appreciation to those who serve. We’re excited to bring volunteer service projects straight to Americans where they work, making the experience easy, fun and meaningful; and helping employers match the right engagement opportunity with their workforce.

“We have worked with Operation Gratitude on numerous events and have always had an amazing experience. It’s incredible to see the impact that these care kits and letters can make in the lives of our military families.” – Mercedes McAndrew, Product Marketing Manager, Salesforce

After completing more than 1,000 hands-on volunteer activities to include working with 84 of the Fortune 100 companies over the last four years, we’ve learned a few things at Operation Gratitude about creating memorable employee events that often lead to long-term partnerships. Here are just a few:

  1. Americans are looking for ways to to volunteer. Our employee engagement opportunities can be done in the office break room, during a sales meeting, as part of a large convention, or other employee event. Giving your team members a simple way to help without leaving the office is the perfect way to connect them with your non-profit partners and it can serve as catalyst for change – in your organization and the world – once people experience hands-on volunteerism, they almost always come back for more!
  2. Employees like to get their hands dirty. Corporate donations are an essential funding tool for non-profits; but employees consistently ask for a personal connection to the causes their employers support as well. As businesses across the country recognize this important aspect of their overall corporate giving strategy, the need for hands-on volunteer opportunities is on the rise. Check out our variety of employee engagement activities available.
  3. Leadership comes from above, and below. Our most successful events have something in common – buy-in across the full spectrum of the organization. From CEOs packing care kits with their employees, to thousands of individual Thank You letters collected enterprise-wide; Operation Gratitude is honored to have worked with hundreds of employee partners over the years who bring energy, creativity and heart to planning the perfect giving event to engage their team.

If you’re interested in learning more about Operation Gratitude’s employee engagement events, we have additional information for you here. Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions.

We hope the next time we hear the question about how to “bring Operation Gratitude to my team” that it’s from you!

Chris Clark is the Chief Development Officer of Operation Gratitude

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Channeling the Holiday Spirit this Summer

Amidst the heat of the summer, an image of logs crackling in the fireplace and casting a glow on stockings hung above is probably the last thing to come to mind for most people. But for Operation Gratitude and our growing army of volunteers nationwide, the holiday spirit is always in our thoughts.

More Than Just a Hug

When I look back at my journey over the past 3 years and 8 months as the CEO of Operation Gratitude, the one thing that sticks out the most are the hugs.

They are etched in my memory forever — literally thousands of hugs at hundreds of service projects and community-building events — on too many trips, and in too many cities to count, from sea to shining sea.